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Monday, December 29, 2008

Relief is on the way

I have not been up to watch the serious erosion of snow which apparently has occurred even around Mad River. I can't handle it mentally and usually prefer to lock myself inside and watch football. Some new snow however will make an immediate arrival on Monday night in form of a fast moving moving alberta clipper. The limited moisture with this system will receive some much needed terrain enhancement and I would expect 3-5 inches by later tomorrow with most of this snow falling before first tracks time tomorrow. The second and stronger system is more of a product of the Pacific. It will make its arrival early on New Years eve but its forecasted track in the last 24-48 hours has shifted south and the corridor of heaviest snow is now expected to be over southern New England. The likely scenario at this point is a light accumulation New Years eve followed by a turn to much colder temps which marks a more permanent shift in the pattern discussed in the previous post.

Pattern aligning itself in a very "right" way
One has to be seriously encouraged with the outlook for the first half of January. The NAO shift is the first triggering mechanism but this will be combined later in the month with what now appears to be a complete elimination of the trough across the west. This is a new development as of today since it was only in the last post that I had still expressed concern about the on goings in the Pacific Northwest and its ramifications farther east. Now it appears as if the NAO shift will be combined with the building of a ridge across the west and this severely weakens the threat for rain for at least the first 15 days of January. If we shut down the Pacific entirely, including the all important moisture supply of the jet stream's southern branch than it could be more of a dry cold but this is jumping a bit ahead of ourselves. The first 10 days of January will feature at least 2 significant storms and I am encouraged that we will recover a healthy percentage of what was recently lost.

Two storms to watch in the first 7 days of '09
The storm this weekend continues to have promise and potential. We will get some snow out of this but uncertainty looms regarding amounts. The storm is another product of the Pacific and there have been generally consistent indications that some additional Atlantic Ocean moisture could seriously boost this storm into a big snowmaker for interior New England. This said, the storm is a quick mover, and the consequences of the storms interaction with the Atlantic Ocean could be felt farther east as opposed to MRG. The second storm arrives in the time frame of January 6th or January 7th. Models at face value suggest mixed precipitation is possible with this but I am counting on the historically reliable NAO to have our backs on this one and discourage this storm from tracking in a unfavorable way.

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